Altidore on Verge of Adding a New Chapter to MNT Goal Scoring History

While Jozy Altidore’s two-goal outburst in Friday’s 2-1 win over Peru was the fourth multi-goal game of the U.S. striker’s career, it also put him on the doorstep of a very exclusive club with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

With 29 goals since making his first international appearance as an 18-year old in November 2007, Altidore’s next strike will make him the fifth player in MNT history to hit 30 international goals, joining the likes of Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride as the only other players to do so.

It’s a heady list of names – Wynalda and McBride are already U.S. Soccer Hall of Famers -- while Donovan and Dempsey are surely on their way there and hold the top two positions as the MNT’s leading goal scorers.  Should Jozy score his 30th sometime soon, it’ll put him in some interesting spots in comparison to the goal scoring quartet.

For starters, his next goal will tie him with McBride for fourth on the all-time list and put him within earshot of Wynalda (34) for third. But there’s also a timing aspect here for Altidore. In terms of caps, he won’t be the fastest be depending on when he does it, he could come close.

That goes to Wynalda, who hit his 30th goal in just his 83rd U.S. MNT cap, in a 3-2 World Cup Qualifying loss defeat at Costa Rica on March 23, 1997. If Altidore can score against either Brazil on Tuesday night or in the CONCACAF Cup match against Mexico on Oct. 10, he’d beat out Landon Donovan as the second fastest MNT player to 30 goals.

Least Caps to 30 Goals

Player

# of Caps to 30 Goals

Eric Wynalda

83

Landon Donovan

87

Clint Dempsey

91

Brian McBride

92

Jozy Altidore*

84 caps/29 goals

When judging by minutes, there’s another timing aspect for Altidore. While Wynalda also achieved his 30 goals in the least amount of minutes on the field (5,523), Altidore has scored his 29 after playing only 5,791 minutes for the National Team. That’s 359 minutes less than McBride, or just a touch under four full matches that he could lock in a spot as the second fastest MNT player to hit 30 goals.

Least Minutes to 30 goals

Player

# of Caps to 30 Goals

Eric Wynalda

5,523

Brian McBride

6,150

Clint Dempsey

7,059

Landon Donovan

7,063

Jozy Altiore*

29 goals/5,791 minutes

Finally, whenever he does hit 30, he won’t be the youngest to do it either -- Donovan holds that distinction. The MNT’s all-time leading goal scorer’s third goal in the team’s 3-1 friendly win against Ecuador on March 25, 2007 was also his 30th and he did it exactly three weeks after turning 25 years old. That said, a couple months away from his 26th birthday, Altidore has a bit of time some time to become the second youngest MNT player to hit 30 goals, as Wynalda is next in line, having done it at 27 years, 287 days.

Youngest to 30 Goals

Player

Age

Landon Donovan

25 years, 21 days

Eric Wynalda

27 years, 287 days

Clint Dempsey

29 years, 221 days

Brian McBride

33 years, 343 days

Jozy Altidore*

29 goals in 25 years 306 days

With both Donovan and Altidore beginning with the MNT at age 18, from a statistical standpoint, Jozy certainly still has the potential to rise up the U.S. goal scoring chart and even challenge Landon’s all-time record of 57 goals.